Rustem is a player, his job and his passion is poker. Two hours are enough for the 25-year-old to complete up to 300 tournaments online. A decision is made every second and with every click: 60 times the risk per minute. The game has little to do with luck, they say. What counts is self-confidence, numerical talent and discipline.

In the darkened living room, the camera follows Rustem’s idiosyncratically isolated handiwork. Only the glow of the laptop defies the black – like a symbol for the supposed anonymity of the Internet. Between momentary glamour and cliché, quickly earned sums of money, microwave burgers and after-work long drinks, Rustem’s longing for publicity, the fame of a Pius Heinz, for direct confrontation is also articulated. With the protagonist, the camera’s gaze thus increasingly penetrates the real poker world – into smoky back rooms and artificially decorated (provincial) casinos. There he roams over gigantic table ensembles, observes the ballet of cards and the motion sequences in the exchange of chips and fortunes.

Katharina Copony articulates a cinematic translation for the idiosyncratic routine and forced lack of emotion in the virtual and real poker halls – for a game that continues into everyday life and does not end with the respective tournament. GAMBLERS is neither a sensationalist portrait of winners nor a canonized critique of gambling. The poetic offer narration conveys the story of a life in community, in which each person acts only for him/herself. Towards the end of the film, the camera once again zooms into the computer worlds of „Mafia 2“. Here, as there, the law of the strongest rules, virtual reality and reality become blurred. Alone against all, always in the game.


Director: Katharina Copony
Trailer Editing: Angela Christlieb
Actors: Rustem Saparov aka puma23 xxxx
Cinematography: Stefan Neuberger
Writer: Katharina Copony, Hannes Held